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Social Innovation Initiative at Marquette University


As most of you know, the university in February announced that we have been charged with leading Marquette's Social Innovation Initiative. We are honored and delighted to continue the great work that has already been done over the past few years, and we are thankful for the solid leadership and foundation on which we can build.

This spring was, indeed, a time of transition for Social Innovation, and we wanted to take the opportunity as the semester winds down to apprise you of the progress we've made and our plans for the coming academic year:

  • We will again be partnering with the Brady Corporation Foundation to present the "Good Money Challenge" (formerly the Midwest Social Innovation Start-Up Challenge), an event that gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to submit a business plan that has a positive impact on social or environmental issues. The Good Money Challenge will be held at Marquette during the fall 2014 semester, and winners are awarded and gifted grants to help fund their ideas.
  • We are in the process of arranging for another outstanding Social-Entrepreneur-in-Residence, who will be on campus in fall 2014.
  • The two of us, along with a faculty team from Marquette, will attend the Global Social Benefit Institute network meeting at Santa Clara University later this month to explore building research and curricular connections with other Jesuit college and university initiatives.
  • Father Santos will travel to South Korea this summer to present "Fostering social innovation learning across campus: opportunities and challenges" at a plenary session on "Pedagogy and Service Learning in Social Entrepreneurship" at the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools' annual meeting.
  • Recent student and faculty group discussions were extremely helpful in identifying several key points for future planning. We heard from both groups that they are interested in better integrating social innovation into the curriculum, building more opportunities for hands-on social innovation experience through community partnerships, and connecting social innovation with other related campus and community activities. Fr. Santos will be teaching an honors seminar on Social Innovation in the fall semester.
  • Lastly, we have had some very positive conversations with our contacts at AshokaU, and we will continue to work closely with them.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us this semester. We look forward to announcing more good news from the Social Innovation Initiative over the coming months. Have a fun and safe summer!

Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School
Rev. Nicky Santos, S.J., assistant professor of marketing


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